Feb 29, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday (11) draws Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) and forward Serge Ibaka (9) off their feet during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Thunder defeated the Sixers 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

OKC Thunder (9-4) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7-5) Preview


The Oklahoma City Thunder will play the second game of a road back-to-back tonight in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

OKC is fresh off a loss to the Boston Celtics on the road last night in which their second unit was completely outplayed.

The 76ers are off to a decent start this season considering they have been without their best player Andrew Bynum. They’ve been inconsistent though and have lost to the Pistons and Cavaliers so far this season.

Only three teams in the NBA have a worse offensive efficiency rating than the 76ers this season. But defensively the 76ers are second in the league in efficiency. They will want a slow, drawn out game vs. the Thunder which isn’t an easy thing to dictate.

The Thunder have been disappointing scoring in the pick-and-roll this season ranking 24th in terms of points per possession on those plays. The 76ers are 10th in the league defending the pick-and-roll and will like to keep OKC out of transition and limit their open spot-up opportunities to keep the game close.

There will be another solid matchup at the point guard position with Russell Westbrook taking on Jrue Holiday. Westbrook scored 26 points to go with eight dimes and seven boards last night. Holiday is averaging 18.4 points and 8.6 assists per game on the season.

The 76ers used to have one of the better defenders to throw on Kevin Durant in Andre Iguodala but he is now gone leaving a very tough void to be filled. Durant scored 29 last night and has been on a roll scoring the past few games. Look for that to continue again tonight.

The 76ers don’t have the greatest bench but they do have some solid players on it. The Thunder can’t have a repeat performance from last night again tonight with their second unit.

Kevin Martin made just one shot and scored three points last night which is totally unacceptable for the Thunder. He has bounced back from tough shooting nights so far this season so look for him to play better tonight.

The Thunder are again last in the NBA in turnover ratio this season while Philadelphia is second best. That kind of disparity could keep Philadelphia, especially, while at home in the game against the more talented Thunder squad.

OKC has one of the best records in the NBA and two of the best players. What that means is they are very good at not losing two games in a row. It will be tough since on a back-to-back to win tonight but the Thunder are young and can handle it.

The game will tip-off early tonight at 7 p.m. EST.

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